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Opinions June 23, 2011

June 23, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Joseph E. Corcoran v. Bill Wilson, superintendent
07-2093, 07-2182
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Allen Sharp.
Civil. Reinstates and incorporates by reference the earlier opinion in Corcoran v. Buss to the extent that it reversed the District Court’s judgment granting habeas relief on the basis of the claimed Sixth Amendment violation; and affirmed the District Court’s conclusion that the Indiana courts did not mishandle the issue of his competence to waive post-conviction remedies. Remands to District Court to permit it to address Corcoran’s remaining grounds for habeas relief.

Spurlino Materials LLC v. National Labor Relations Board, et al.
Nos. 10-2875, 10-3049
Petition for review and cross-application for enforcement of order of the National Labor Relations Board.
Civil. Grants the National Labor Relations Board’s application for enforcement of its order against cross-petitioner Spurlino Materials. The NLRB adopted the reasoning of the administrative law judge to find Spurlino engaged in a variety of unfair labor practices and imposed remedial measures. Substantial evidence supports the board’s holding. Denies Spurlino’s cross-petition for review.

Indiana Supreme Court
J.M. v. M.A., et al.
20S04-1012-CV-676
Civil. Reverses trial court decision to set aside the paternity affidavit and remands to give J.M. the opportunity, as agreed to at oral argument, to challenge the paternity affidavit in the manner outlined in Indiana Code.

Elmer D. Baker v. State of Indiana
17S04-1009-CR-500
Criminal. Adopts the reasoning of the California Supreme Court and holds that the state may in its discretion designate a specific act or acts on which it relies to prove a particular charge. If the state decides not to so designate, then the jurors should be instructed that in order to convict the defendant, they must either unanimously agree that the defendant committed the same act or acts or that the defendant committed all of the acts described by the victim and included within the time period charged. Finds Baker did not demonstrate that the instruction error in his case so prejudiced him that he was denied a fair trial.

Lamar M. Crawford v. State of Indiana
49S05-1106-CR-370
Criminal. Affirms denial of two of Crawford’s requests for certain footage relating to his murder investigation for an in camera review. Crawford’s requests did not pass the first step of the three-step test used to determine the discoverability of information in criminal cases.

Crisis Connection, Inc. v. Ronald K. Fromme
19S05-1012-CR-678
Criminal. Reverses trial court order that Crisis Connection turn over counseling records for in camera review before turning them over to Fromme. The records are protected by the victim advocate privilege and Fromme does not have a constitutional right to an in camera review of Crisis Connection’s records. Remands for further proceedings.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Mickey Cundiff v. State of Indiana
31A05-1008-CR-607
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Cundiff was not entitled to a speedy trial pursuant to Indiana Criminal Rule 4(B) despite his incarceration on an unrelated cause. A defendant must be incarcerated on the pending charges to be entitled to the benefits of the 70-day speedy trial rule.

Save Our School: Elmhurst High School v. Fort Wayne Community Schools, et al.
02A04-1012-PL-746
Civil plenary. Affirms grant of motion to dismiss Save Our School’s complaint for declaratory judgment against Fort Wayne Community Schools seeking to force Elmhurst High School to remain open. FWCS's decision to close Elmhurst is not an action subject to judicial review as potentially violating the Indiana Constitution.

Elliott McKinley Montgomery v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1012-CR-616
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder in the perpetration of robbery.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of A.H. and J.H.; Jo.H. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
89A04-1011-JT-706
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

James Hatala v. Sally Hatala (NFP)
64A03-1011-DR-555
Domestic relation. Affirms in part the dissolution decree and reverses in part. Remands to revalue the proceeds from the condemnation settlements at zero, to recalculate its division of the parties’ marital assets, to determine what effect, if any, this recalculation has on the alleged intended 50-50 division of the marital estate, to recalculate what amount of Sally Hatala’s attorney fees, if any, James Hatala should pay, and to amend the divorce decree accordingly.

Ryan T. McMullen v. State of Indiana (NFP)
27A02-1009-CR-1165
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for Class A felony possession of cocaine and Class D felony possession of marijuana.

Jack Edwards, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
39A05-1006-CR-395
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

Robert M. Richardson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A04-1010-CR-654
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

SB Hospitality, LLC, et al. v. R.S. Elliott Specialty Supply, Inc. (NFP)
71A05-1008-PL-702
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of SB Hospitality and Gita Patel’s motion to withdraw admissions and the grant of summary judgment for R.S. Elliott Specialty Supply.

KJE, LLC v. RAC Holdings, Inc., and Rex Carroll (NFP)
02A03-1102-PL-52
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment for Rex Carroll and RAC Holdings on the issue of whether RAC breached a franchise agreement.

Robert L. Frank, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
17A04-1012-CR-801
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor and Class D felony sexual battery.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of Z.E., et al.; S.E. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
79A04-1101-JT-27
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Paternity of T.F.-W.; D.F. v. J.W. (NFP)
49A02-1009-JP-976
Juvenile. Affirms grant of legal custody of T.F.-W. to child’s biological father.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

 

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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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